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Orecchiette with Sautéed Greens and Scallion Sauce
Richard Reddington fills homemade ravioli with ricotta, mascarpone, arugula, spinach and Swiss chard, then serves them in a green garlic-and-white wine sauce. An easier way: Toss store-bought orecchiette with arugula and chard (both are tastier than spinach) and make the sauce with scallions instead of green garlic, which can be hard to find.
Pasta with Sausage, Basil and Mustard
Toasted Spaghetti with Clams
Ferran Adrià credits the idea for this dish to one of his acolytes, Moreno Cedroni, the hyper-creative Italian chef at La Madonnina del Pescatore in Italy’s Marzocca di Senigallia. The method is very similar to risotto, but spaghetti fills in for the arborio rice: Adrià toasts it in a pan with a little oil, then adds hot clam juice until the pasta is fully cooked and loaded with briny flavor.
Carbonara with Green Peas
A carbonara sauce always has eggs, bacon (usually pancetta) and Parmesan or pecorino cheese; some versions contain heavy cream, others do not. Top Chef contestants Elia Aboumrad and Sam Talbot made their decadent sauce with plenty of cream; to add color and freshness they also added a less conventional ingredient—a handful of green peas.
Meyer Lemon Gnocchi
For supertender gnocchi, Steve Corry is careful not to overwork the dough. After draining the gnocchi, he sautés them until they're slightly crispy, then tosses them with the lemony sauce. Instead of sprinkling the gnocchi with Parmesan cheese, Corry likes to shave bottarga—dried and salted gray mullet roe—over the top, but they're also delicious without it.